Counterfeit (or “costume” jewelry) uses base metal (steel, brass, or pot metal) and imitation stones (synthetics, plastic or glass) to produce an artist’s design. 

   “Real” jewelry is made from precious metal (silver, gold or platinum) and natural gemstones, raising it beyond mere fashion.  This is just as true for affordable handcrafted silver found at a local craft fair, as for the million-dollar “statement” jewels worn by celebrities.   

    Costume jewelry provides fun and fashion at a low price.  If ornamentation is your goal, that’s perfect- but real jewelry has much more to offer!   

 1) Real jewelry has an intrinsic value because of the precious materials used to make it.  This value changes with the current markets, but it will always be worth something! Jewelry is a form of tangible wealth that’s also extremely portable, helping people preserve their wealth in troubled times. Real jewelry can also appreciate considerably in value, over time.  Used costume jewelry has relatively little or no value, especially if it’s out of fashion but not yet “vintage”.   

Treasure Chest with Gold Bars

 2) Because real jewelry is so valuable, it is used to mark important occasions such as engagement, marriage, births, anniversaries; given as a token of love or friendship; or acquired to reward personal achievements such as a graduation or a promotion. These jewels have vast emotional significance: They’re a constant reminder of the giver’s love and appreciation (as in engagement, wedding and anniversary rings) but also can signify pride  in a major accomplishment.  (This MIT "Brass Rat" costs more than the average house- when you add up the tuition!) 

MIT Brass Rat

 3) The gemstones used in genuine jewelry are examples of the natural wonders to be found in the Earth.  Some are beautiful just as they are, others require human skill and imagination to bring them to life.  Gems and minerals are believed to possess special, specific powers that can affect our lives, such as the ability to heal, calm or protect; which add greatly to their value and meaning.   

Amazing Gemstones!

 4) Most of what we buy (such as tech, clothing, automobiles, or furniture) lasts only a short time before being discarded or replaced.  By contrast, real jewelry is permanent; an investment in the future. With reasonable care, real jewels last a lifetime and well beyond- leaving a legacy for future generations, full of sentimental value. Even jewelry thousands of years old can still be worn- with the aura of antiquity adding to the wearer’s enjoyment!

Egyptian Bangle (courtesy Pixabay)

 So, although real jewelry does cost more to acquire, the added benefits go well beyond the price you pay! 

My Precious, courtesy of Pixabay

I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at a blog post, sharing my love and enjoyment of all things jewelry- especially things you may not have known.

I'd like to post something educational, entertaining or both as frequently as I can, so please check back!

Karen N.

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